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Paraguayan President signs into law bill allowing for the use of Itaipú, Yacyretá funds to coronavirus undertakings

Tuesday, April 27th 2021 - 09:13 UTC
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Cabinet Chief Hernán Huttemann explained Abdo decided to sign the bill into law “after a political and legal analysis.” Cabinet Chief Hernán Huttemann explained Abdo decided to sign the bill into law “after a political and legal analysis.”

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez Monday signed into law a bill to redirect “social funds” from the Itaipú and Yacyretá binational energy-producing entities towards the effort against the pandemic, it was announced.

Through this new legislation, some 150 million US dollars will be allocated to the purchase of supplies and biosafety materials, improve hospitals and attend to social protection.

Cabinet Chief Hernán Huttemann explained that “after a political and legal analysis” Abdo Benítez decided to enact the law Congress voted last week in support of the Executive.

“The president has given the previous instruction to do everything possible to allocate all the resources of the entities and that they are destined to health issues. So that is the instruction. He is analyzing and seeing the impact that all this may have on the programs in progress. It is an issue that we have been trying to share with the public to what extent it would affect to comply as the sanctioned law is written,” Paraguayan Director-General of Itaipú Manuel María Cáceres said.

The Paraguayan Government also announced 100 million US dollars will be spent in subsidies to those who are affected by the new restrictive measures effective as of Tuesday, April 27, and which will most decisively impact those areas labelled “red,” such as Asunción and Ciudad del Este.

See: Paraguay takes starker approach at Covid-19 with further restrictions

“We had enough time; we did not know how to do things and we are in an almost extreme situation. The sanatoriums are full, the hospitals are full, we have to close for a while, wait for the peak to drop a little and then move again,” Interior Minister Arnaldo Giuzzio said.

Abdo had decided the last week to keep a zero tariff on the import of medical supplies for the prevention and mitigation of the coronavirus pandemic, such as chinstraps, masks, biosafety glasses, syringes and alcohol.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Paraguay has registered 267,082 infections, with 219,647 recovered, and 5,900 deaths due to the coronavirus, according to data from the Health Ministry.

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